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Analysis Shows Pandemic’s Effects on Mental Health, Substance Use Disorder

For behavioral health directors

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An issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), released earlier this month, reports that about four in 10 U.S. adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder during the COVID-19 pandemic, up from one in 10 adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019. 

The brief also focuses on populations that were particularly at risk for experiencing negative mental health or substance abuse consequences during the pandemic, including young adults, people experiencing job loss, parents and children, communities of color, and essential workers.  

In addition, a July 2020 poll from KFF found that many adults report specific negative effects on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol and consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%) due to worry and stress about COVID-19.